Illustration of Create your own Easter Eggs with Siri Alexa and Google
Siri: What, no bunny costume this year?

Last year we successfully ducked compiling the endless list of Easter eggs, which are hidden inside Siri, Alexa, and Google. Rather than spoiling the Easter egg fun – which basically every other website sadly does – we tried to keep it fun and just helped a bit with your Easter egg hunt. This year, we are taking it to the next level: We’ll create our own Easter eggs with Siri, Alexa, and Google.

This will be much more creative and fun, than trying the pre-made humor crafted by Siri’s, Alexa’s and Google’s – admittedly talented – personality teams.

What’s an Easter Egg?

Let’s ask our whiz-kid: “Hey Google, what’s an easter egg?” (By the way, what we’ll hear is also the response to Google’s Easter Egg hunt question: “Give me an Easter Egg”. Google has not only not fixed the bug that we often get a Wikipedia definition, rather than our Easter eggs, but has also accomplished to make the Google Home Hub pretty much humorless.)

Google: “According to Wikipedia: In computer software and media, an Easter egg is an intentional inside joke, hidden message or image, or secret feature of a work. It is usually found in a computer program, video game, or DVD/Blu-ray Disc menu screen. The name is used to evoke the idea of a traditional Easter egg hunt.”

So, the idea with our smart assistant Easter eggs is – apart from hunting pre-made jokes, which we have covered in last years post – that we say or ask something and then get a fun, unexpected inside joke, hidden message, or … maybe a hint where we can find real Easter eggs.

Ok, with our own Easter eggs, we won’t be able to surprise ourselves, as we are the ones creating them. But we will definitely surprise kids, partner, family, and friends. It just depends on your creativity and a tiny bit of know-how.

How to create our own Easter Eggs?

It’s super easy! With Google’s and Alexa’s Routines, we can define a phrase, which will trigger a personalized, fun response which we’ve crafted ourselves and nobody will notice the difference. Siri is a bit of a killjoy, as she will give away that she is “running our shortcut” on a HomePod, but OK, we already know that she’s a bit too sirious.

Some ideas to get you started:

  • Use commands your surprised ones frequently use and personalize the response. If the phrase is something like “Mirror, mirror on the wall”, include the name of your kid in your custom response, she’ll be much happier.
  • Incorporate your Easter eggs in an actual egg hunt. “Where is my first Easter egg?” could trigger a hint “look around the stairs which lead up” or for old kids just play the song “Stairway to heaven”.
  • Prepare for follow up questions, “I can’t find my first Easter egg” could give more precise information, rather than the current suggestions by Google “Try checking a shoe or the mailbox” or Alexa “Possibly try behind the sofa? You never know what you may find.” You can customize all of this, it’s your game!
  • Use their favorite songs. “Play Baby Shark” could respond “Oh, <kids name>. An easter egg is hidden …” and then play the song, don’t make them grumpy.
  • Trigger some indoor/outdoor smart lights to turn on/off or use colors as indicators. Off or blue could mean “cold”, no easter egg here. On or red could mean “hot”, your Easter egg is nearby.
  • Be creative and combine as many hints as your assistant supports. You can use custom responses, YouTube clips, songs, smart home devices, etc. (Note, location services are currently not accurate enough for this game)

How to create our own Alexa Easter Egg?

Alexa App - Screenshot Custom Easter Egg Routine
Alexa App – Easter Egg Routine with a custom response, smart light and music automation
  1. In the Alexa app, select “Routines” from the burger menu top left
  2. Tap on the little plus at the top right
  3. Tap on “When this happens” and select “Voice”
  4. Enter the phrase/question which will trigger your custom Easter Egg response
  5. Tap on “Add action” and select “Alexa Says”
  6. Tap on Custom and add your custom response/hint
  7. Tap on “Next”
  8. If you’d like to add a song:
    • Tap on “Add action” and select “Music”
    • Enter the song title and
    • Select your music provider
    • Tap “Next”
  9. If you’d like to add a smart home device:
    • Tap on “Add action” and select “Smart Home”
    • Select Control device
    • Pick the light closest to the easter egg and set the color to e.g. “red” (or turn it on)
    • Tap “Save” and then “Next”

How to create our own Google Easter Egg?

Google Home app Screenshot of Custom Easter Egg Routine
Google Home app – Easter Egg Routine with a custom response, smart light and music automation
  1. In the Google Home app, tap on “Routines” in the home menu
  2. Scroll all the way down to “Manage Routines”
  3. Tap on the blue “+” plus sign at the bottom right.
  4. Under “When I say …” tap on “Add commands”
  5. Enter the phrase which will trigger your Easter Egg response (Note, with Google we can add some alternatives here, so that all of the commands we add, play this Routine)
  6. Tap once on the “<” back arrow at the top left
  7. Tap on “Add action” and choose “popular actions”
  8. Scroll all the way down and check the “Say something”
  9. Tap on the configuration icon next to “Say something” and add your custom response/hint
  10. Tap once on the “<” back Arrow at the top left and then “Add” at the top right
  11. If you’d like to add a smart home device:
    • Note, that the popular actions in “Adjust lights, plugs and more …” will only let us turn lights on/off, so we will instead
    • Enter the Google Assistant command: “set <light-name> to red” to change the color
  12. If you’d like to play a song:
    • Under “And then play …” tap on add media
    • Select Music and tap on the configuration icon
    • Enter the song title
    • Tap once on the “<” back arrow at the top left
    • Tap “Save” at the top right

How to create our own Siri Easter Egg?

Note, you need to create the Shortcuts on the Apple device (iPhone, iPad) you’ve used to set up your HomePod and this device needs to be on your WiFi to have the Siri Shortcuts working!

Screenshot of Apple Shortcuts app Easter Egg with Music Section
Apple Shortcuts app – An Easter Egg with Music
Screenshot of Apple Shortcuts app - Custom Easter Egg Response and HomeKit Scene
Apple Shortcuts app – Easter Egg – Siri’s custom Response and HomeKit Scene automation
  1. Open the Shortcuts app and tap on “+ Create Shortcut”
  2. Tap on the settings icon underneath “Done” at the top right.
  3. Give your shortcut a name, e.g. “Easter Egg 1”
  4. Tap on “Add to Siri” and then on the red record button at the bottom
  5. Speak the trigger phrase for your shortcut (re-record in case Siri doesn’t get it)
  6. Click once “Done” at the top right.
  7. Click into “Search” at the bottom
  8. Enter “Text” and select it from the results
  9. Enter your custom response/hint
  10. Click into “Search” at the bottom
  11. Enter “Speak” and select “Speak Text” from the results
  12. If you’d like to control smart home devices:
    • Make sure, you have a HomeKit scene prepared
      • In the Apple Home app create a new scene (plus at the top right)
      • Select “Add Scene” and then “Custom”
      • Give your scene a name, e.g. “Easter Egg 1”
      • Add the HomeKit accessories you’d like to change
      • Force/long press on the device to change its brightness/color
      • Click “Done” at the top right
    • In the Shortcuts app click into “Search” at the bottom
    • Enter “Home” and select “Run Home Scene” from the results
    • Select your Home
    • Select your Easter Egg HomeKit Scene
    • Click “Done” at the top right
  13. If you’d like to add a song:
    • Make sure you’ve added the song to your library!
    • Click into “Search” at the bottom, enter “Find Music” and select “Find Music Where”
    • Tap on the “Artist” Filter and change it to “Title”
    • Enter the Song title
    • Limit the result to 1 (just in case)
    • Click into “Search” at the bottom, enter and select “Play Music”
    • Tap on “Shuffle off” and “Repeat none” (you must hate me for the “Baby Shark” idea by now)

How to clean this up after the holidays?

With Alexa it’s easy. You just open your Easter egg routines and disable them until you need them again.

With Google, I am afraid, we need to delete the Routines and recreate them when we need them again. Note, a workaround could be to assign them command names no one will ever use.

For Siri, delete the voice (Siri) Shortcut under Shortcut settings / Siri Phrase / Delete Shortcut until you adapt and re-use them.

Conclusion

Funnily enough, with this Easter egg post, we have not only looked into how we can create our own Easter eggs, a custom response to whichever command we say, but we have also caught a glimpse of smart home and music automation. Yes, you can use this knowledge not only for fun, but also to create helpful daily routines with Siri, Alexa, and Google around your home.

And, just in case someone in your household drives you crazy by always listening to the same song, you know what to do! Create an Easter egg which plays your favorite song instead. And in case it’s their special day, make sure you create special responses because you know much better than Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet what they like.

A quick personal ranking, derived from how much work is needed to create our own Easter eggs with Siri, Alexa, and Google:

  1. Alexa, you are still egg-cellent!
  2. Google, not too far behind! There’s this “Give me an Easter Egg” bug waiting to be fixed since last year, now also on the Google Home Hub! Can you please fix this until tomorrow? And can we please disable routines (quick fix) and have a more intuitive user interface (in 2-3 years, maybe?)
  3. Siri, you are spoiling every custom Easter egg with your: “Running your shortcut …”. And if your Shortcut, music and HomeKit interoperability doesn’t evolve soon (like WWDC19, maybe?), we will be really, really sad.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this custom Easter egg, prank, and home automation post. If you have any questions or funny ideas for custom Easter eggs, please share them in the comment section below.

Parents, if your Siri, Alexa, and Google are acting strange lately, you’ve found the source. We are sorry, but we love the fun, join in!

You can find other comparisons here:

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